Elferie is the traditional denomination of the Elf Neighborhood, elf quarter or the part of the human cities where concentrated the housing of the elves. In some cases it was determined by law as the exclusive place of residence of members of that community. By extension, the term was applied to any zone inhabited notoriously by elven families.
The Elfieries surged in Northwestern Aels during the Dark Age of Demons, as a result of a conception of a segregated society based in ethnic-religious and racial entities, and in the successive historical junctures of more or less racial and religious tolerance or of persecution. The space segregation was as much due the discrimination of the majority communities (humans), as the wish of the elven communities to keep their identity.
After 1998 the grey elves of Sargos were forced to live in a walled neighborhood, as consequence of the slaughter of elves by a marching army of sargonic soldiers against Huncle, during the War of the Clover. The rise of the threat of the demons and the Dark Legion increased anti-elven (and against non-human) attacks all over Aels, and with them, measures of segregation.
Both in the northwestern Aelian human kingdoms and in Uslen, elves were settled on differentiated communities, that had juridical and fiscal personality, may they or not be separated in space.
After the anti-elven revolts of the year 2091, caused due to the continuation of ancient elven religious practices, numerous grey elves decided to convert to Christianity in the northwestern aelian kindgdoms, which will originate a community of newly converted Christian elves, but who continued to be discriminated against legally and socially. To try to keep apart and limit the contact between the newly conversed Christian elves and the pagan elves, there were established measures to isolate the non-Christian elves in elferies after the Court of Karentia of 2108, being to segregate them in new elferies, many of which will last until the Third War of the Power.
After The Cataclysm, once more time elferies where established legally in several human cities: they normally were surrounded by walls and their doors were closed at night, being abolished such systems only in the time of the time of the Joaquintopian Wars.
Elferies in Geographic RegionsEdit
Throughout the continent of Aels, the institution of elferies was often a common feature, but varied by region in legal or functional origins, physical structure and administration.
Elferies in Northwestern AelsEdit
The creation of Elferies in the human cities was done in a sporadic way along all the dark age of demons, the middle human age, the second coming of darkness up to the Cataclysm, normally when urban space was reshaped with the new foundations, the destruction and reconstruction of cities.
There have been attempts to estimate the population, both for the total of elves in each kingdom, and of each elferie, but with partial and diverse results.
While there were some large elferies, counting even thousands of inhabitants, most elferies were small, with maybe only ten families or less.
Elf Neighborhoods and Quarters in Central AelsEdit
Historically, there was a more important in demographic and cultural terms elven minority in central Aels, to the point that the whole region was often known for a name of elven origins -Dol'Sorne-, which could be applied in a more specific way to the peninsula of Dol'Sorne, or even more specifically, to the Duchy of Dol'Sorne -or even more specific-, to the city of Dol'Sorne.
Due this larger elven population, there will be many elven cities, and for long there was a system of segregation of two parallel societies, a human and a elven one, living in separated settlements. Demographic growth, trade and significantly the invasion of the Cruzeños knights from Northwestern Aels will put an end to the system of segregation of towns of elves and towns of humans, becoming increasingly more common mixed settlements.
Larger, richer and with more prestige, rather than the enclosed and crumped Elferie of the northwest, the Elf neighborhoods or elf quarters had a better infrastructure and often they were planned: however there too will appear Elferies in the form seen in the Five kingdoms of the Northwest, specially in Hannian and Dumia, where there was a larger human majority.
Some authors point out there would be some sort of Elferies dedicated only to the Cursed Elves, the Doroz, marginalized by other elves.
Elf Neighborhoods in Southern AelsEdit
While often depended of the emperor of turn from the Unlic Empire of Uslen -going from tolerance to internment, persecution, forced conversion and integration and back-, in the aftermath of the First War of the Power, due the changed perception by the Unlic Emperors of elves, will enjoy a certain level of prosperity. Compared with other Unlic subjects -with the exception of the Vanolosé orcs- they were the predominant power in commerce and trade as well in diplomacy and other high offices -the apogee of elvish influence in the Unlic Empire of Uslen could arguably be the appointment of an elf as governor of the Island Demonatch. Also elves will take tax farms -often entering in a fierce competence with the Vanolosé orcs, their greatest rivals for non-human influence in the southern empire.
An additional problem was the lack of unity among the elves themselves. Unlike the elves of the Five Kingdoms of the Weseuros or Dol'Sorne, largely made up of Rossnes, the elves of the Unlic Empire of Uslen were diverse -being there rossnes grey, sylvan, mountain and High elves, Zuleis elves such as the Flairie and Unnline and Neroz Drows, not counting the cursed Doroz or the dryads-, bringing with them their own customs and opinions, to which they clung tenaciously, and had founded separate communities.
Architecture and UrbanismEdit
Normally the houses were of brick, adobe and wood, being the streets paved. Many times they were surrounded by palisades, and by night they were closed and isolated of the rest of the city, being this done by orders of the local authorities and as security measure. However, there weren't few attacks to these elven neighborhoods.
A characteristic of these elven neighborhoods is the asymmetry, as the external distribution of the facades and the adaptation to the irregular topography, which had spectacular effects in the houses. This was due to the spontaneous growth of the buildings without planning along many years, as there was a limited space to be used.
The need of isolation was solved normally by walls or grouping the houses in a compact block, that had only some few accesses, easy to close.